So I went to my local courthouse today in Orange County, CA. I searched through tons of their probate files, but I had great difficulty finding the property address and mailing address of the executor of the estate. Let me explain.
So there are tons of types of Probate right? Which types are specifically having to do with a home?
First I looked through Probates that "Determine Succession to Real Property"
In these, I easily found the info I needed, but all the properties were under 150k in value, which in California means they were all small Land properties.
Then I looked at Probates for "Guardianship of Property", but this had to do with an adult overseeing a property where the executor was a child (in one case, they were 1 year-old). So, in this case, the Grandma was put as guardian of the property until the child was of age to take ownership of the property as the executor.
Then I looked at probates for "Steward of the Property" (I think that's what it was called). However, in this case the executor was incapable of acquiring the home, so someone else was assigned as the steward temporarily until that person dies or is able to attain the property. In this case, one executor had a life in prison sentence and in the other the executor was an Alzheimer's patient in a nursing home. Both could not attend to the property so someone else oversaw it temporarily. However, I don't think they have the right to sell it.
Then I looked at Probates that were "Trusts". These all had 20-30 page documents that were extremely difficult to find the info I needed. Also, these included all the personal property, money, etc of the decedent. Sometimes it included property and sometimes it didn't. But sometimes it did not have the mailing address of the executor.
Lastly, nearly all the properties I found had at least 2 executors, many times 4 or 5. In that case, do you just mail one person and hope they all decide to sell? Or do you just not mail those cases?
None of the other Probate titles seemed to be about property. So which one is the right one to look through?
Great experience I'm sure but there are easier ways. For example you can pay for Rebo Gateway. They charge per zip code but sometimes they have specials like buy on get one deals although that may have only been for realtors. Either way it's worth checking out. They show divorce filings also.
When it comes to probate be sure to go after the full authority cases which means they don't need court confirmation and the sellers can sell for whatever they want and it's much faster. Otherwise the court has to approve and it has to be within 90% of appraised value. Also educate yourself on prop 58 and the Heggstead petition. Both will help you win repore with the heirs and give you an excuse to get their email address.
Also check out attorney Paul Horn. I know he has a program for realtors to get unattached probate leads but I'm not sure about non realtors.
Thanks Brett. I'll definitely look into all of those avenues. I'm really low on funds right now, so I'm trying to use all my money on mailings and trying to get lists for free for now. That's why I'm going directly to the court. I honestly don't mind putting in the time as long as I could find real leads.